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Ceres High boys wrestling program makes history

Ceres High boys wrestling program makes history

Frankie Mendez, Conner Johnson, John Alba and Aiden Moore placed first in their respective weight classes while competing at the Western Athletic Conference Championships on Saturday in Los Banos.

POSTED February 15, 2017 8:42 a.m.
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Ceres High's varsity boys wrestling program put the finishing touches on a perfect season against Western Athletic Conference competition this past week.

The Bulldogs racked up 262.5 points while taking first at the WAC Championships on Saturday at Pacheco High School.

Ceres High also claimed WAC overall and dual-meet titles as well this year.

"It's still sinking in that we did it," head coach Steve Festa said. "It's been a goal for a long time. For us to finally get to the top of the mountain is so gratifying. The kids I'm coaching right now are so deserving. It's a special group that will never be forgotten."

Crosstown-rival Central Valley (243.5) placed second at the WAC finals.

Patterson (192) and Livingston (192) tied for third.

Los Banos (163) and Pacheco (55.5) took fifth and sixth, respectively.

"We were motivated all year to become league champions," Festa said. "It's something that hasn't been done since 1995. I'm so proud to be a part of it. We're making our alumni proud. For so long, we've put in so much work. We've battled through adversity. We didn't make any excuses. Everybody knew we were the best team this year. But we had to prove it."

The Bulldogs' entire 14-person lineup advanced to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV Tournament.

Frankie Mendez, John Alba, Aiden Moore, Conner Johnson, Luis Camarillo, Jaden Cooper, Ethan Letras, Diego Diaz, Isai Anguiano, Brian Becerra, Jesus Salcedo and Michael Vargas qualified by virtue of their top-four finishes at the WAC Championships.

Shanald Lal and Andrew Gibson will compete at Divisionals as alternates.

Ceres High had nine finalists during last week's conference tourney.

Mendez (103 pounds, 3-0 record), Alba (145s, 3-0), Moore (160s, 2-0) and Johnson (195s, 2-0) were crowned champions.

John won his third straight WAC championship.

Aiden placed first for the second year in a row.

Camarillo (126s, 1-1,), Cooper (138s, 1-1), Letras (152s, 2-1), Diaz (182s, 1-1) and Anguiano (220s, 2-1) all finished in second place.

Becerra (132s, 3-1) and Salcedo (285s, 2-2) both placed third.

Vargas (120s, 2-2) took fourth.

Lal (113s, 1-2) and Gibson (170s, 1-2) posted identical records while finishing fifth in their respective weight classes.

Ceres High's grapplers will compete at Divisionals later this week at Union Mine.

The tournament will be held on Friday and Saturday.

"We checked that goal (winning the WAC) off our list," Festa said. "Our next goal is to win Divisionals. We want that blue banner. That will put a stamp on our championship season."


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